On this page you will find articles, free audio and video, and other resources that may give you tips on working toward healing and growth. Whether you struggle with stress, anxiety, depression, trauma, or addictive behaviors, no matter the struggles you come here with, this is a place for you to get some tips to support you.
Wednesday, June 17, 2015 · 2 Comments
When people think of mindfulness, they often think that it means “being present,” but everyone has a different idea of what you “should” be being present to. For example, I was at a friend’s house the other day and some wonderful music was playing and I was “being present” to it. However, apparently he was talking to me and I wasn’t paying attention to him. So he said, because he thinks of me as the mindfulness guy, “you’re not being very present are you.”
The fact is, I was being present, just present to what I felt was most important in that moment, the music.
As it turns out, certain music is being found to be good not only for our mental health, but also for our physical health.
Take a moment to listen to this and see what you notice:
Tuesday, June 9, 2015 · 12 Comments
If you’ve followed my writing or heard me speak you may have heard me quote Philosopher and Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel saying, “Life is routine and routine is resistance to wonder.”
Our brains are wired toward routine and we absolutely lose our sense of wonder in every day life. Yet wonder is a natural anti-depressant.
When we pause, have a moment of mindfulness and open our senses, the sights, smells, tastes, sounds and feeling of things comes alive.
There are so many wonders all around us that can bring alive the magic of the world. I wanted to share one of them with you put out by filmmaker Alexis Coram in National Geographic who films the “auroras” of the Northern Lights.
Take 3 minutes and treat this as a mindful experiment. As you watch, what do you notice. See if you become aware of the fact that here we are sitting on a spinning planet in the middle of space. Look at this beauty, what comes alive in you?
Monday, June 1, 2015 · Leave a comment
Self-blame is a human dilemma. We may blame ourselves for shouting at our kids or not protecting our siblings from abusive parents when we were young, or hating ourselves for something we wish we hadn’t said. But blame creates a destructive amount of continual stress that holds us back from learning from our mistakes and also uncovering a real happiness.
So, assuming many of us agree that forgiving ourselves and learning from past mistakes is important for our health and well-being, the next question is how do we actually go about forgiving ourselves?
Know that you are not the first or the last
One of the first things to do is understand that you are not the first person who has made this mistake; it has likely been made thousands if not millions of times before you by other people. I am not condoning the action, but simply letting you know that you are not alone and that many people have made this mistake in the face of common human challenges. One of the common things we do as humans is taking things personally to a fault. When we come to understand that no one is immune from being unskillful, we can begin to take it a little less personally. This helps us in the process of forgiveness.
Understand that it’s in the past
Tuesday, May 19, 2015 · Leave a comment
At the root of it all we want to feel a sense of safety and security. We want to feel a sense of belonging and that we’re connected to something greater than ourselves.
In an upcoming online symposium on Uncovering Happiness that includes people like Dan Siegel, Rick Hanson, Sharon Salzberg, Tara Brach, Jack Kornfield, Dan Harris and others, you’ll see and hear Byron Katie talk about an essential truth saying, “If you have something valuable, you must give it away.”
This can be seen as a fairly extreme statement, but if we unpack it, what’s the potential net effect?
When we give things away, we’re reminding brain that we’re not alone and that we’re connected to others. And when we give things away to those in need, we recognize that we have the power to make a positive impact on other people’s lives.
We are not islands, we are not alone and there’s a sense of purpose. Feeling a sense of purpose is an essential ingredient to our well-being.
One of the simplest happiness tips around is to make giving a part of your daily life.
It doesn’t necessarily come naturally to give since life is routine and many of us are often self-focused, so that becomes the routine. So we need to set a daily intention.
Just in case you are stuck on ways to give, here are 10 ways to give:
Wednesday, May 13, 2015 · Leave a comment
Life is full of ups and downs and often times because our brains our wired to pay attention to the negative more, the losses are magnified, rehashed and fertile ground for self-criticism. Maybe you fall short on a test, don’t get the feedback you were expecting from a work project, end an intimate relationship, keep falling into bad habits or continue falling into bouts of stress, anxiety or depression. We see all of these as negatives in life.
But the key mindset that turns on this on it’s head and catalyzes growth and happiness is the learning mindset.
This is a single thread that weaves throughout Uncovering Happiness and also the newest release MBSR Every Day: Daily Practices from the Heart of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction.
Every single experience in life contains information to help us get better and better with our intentions in life.
If you’ve followed my writings you know I’m a big fan of a short phrase to help us grow from the inevitable obstacles of life: